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UMD Bagley Classroom
UMD's Facilities Management constructed the Bagley Outdoor Classroom which opened in 2010. It is one of the projects used to illustrate processes in Continuing Education's Introduction to Construction Project Management from an Owner's Perspective.


Continuing Education Launches Introduction to Construction Project Management from an Owner’s Perspective.

On time, on budget, and meeting expectations are the goals of every building owner as they embark on a new construction project. Without the proper understanding of what it takes, these goals can quickly become difficult to attain, leading to cost overruns, schedule delays, and a whole lot of frustration between building owners, designers, and contractors.

UMD’s Continuing Education (CE) and Facilities Management Department partnered to create Introduction to Construction Project Management from an Owner’s Perspective, an online certificate designed for individuals interested in learning more about the design and construction process. "Construction is expensive and extremely risky. There is definitely a need for people involved in a construction project for the first time, or only occasionally, to clearly understand what to expect. This certificate provides real life examples, templates, tools, and techniques to help an owner and improve the chances of a successful project" said John Rashid, associate director, Department of Facilities Management, who worked as the content expert on the certificate program.

Rashid believes the certificate will prove especially useful to smaller organizations that do not have the means to hire professional project managers. "Churches, hospitals, schools, small universities, small businesses, and even home owners building their first house will benefit greatly from this program," he said. CE Program Development Associate Roxanne Richards agrees, "Architects could send their clients to this online training. It would be a way for everyone to be on the same page, to be talking the same language," she said.

Topics within the nine modules include; Introduction to Construction Project Management, Selecting Design Consultants, Project Chronology, Project Delivery Methods, Sustainable Design and Construction, Budgeting for Design and Construction, Procurement, The Construction Process and Environmental Health and Safety.

CE and Facilities Management collaborated with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the regional architectural community to ensure that all aspects of construction project management were woven into the modules. "The AIA was extremely generous. They supplied forms and documents and gave us permission to incorporate them into the certificate so that people can become familiar with them for their own construction project," Rashid said.
Facilities Management incorporated UMD building projects into the certificate to provide real-life examples. Among these are the Bagley Outdoor Classroom which opened in 2010 and was the first building in the University system to be certified by LEED at the platinum level and the Swenson Civil Engineering Building which recently was voted one of the top ten green buildings in the country for 2013 (AIA COTE top 10 award).

CE and Facilities Management also worked with UMD School of Fine Arts (SFA) students who provided graphic design expertise to the certificate. “The students integrated Flipbook designs that are easily navigated,” Richards said. In addition, SFA students contributed their talents by writing original music and creating video components for the certificate.

The Introduction to Construction Project Management from an Owner’s Perspective program is flexible and has no formal start or end dates. "Individuals may enroll and begin their studies at any time, and because the program is self-paced, participants can learn at their own speed," said Richards.

For more information, visit the Continuing Education website.

Great Beginnings
CE and Facilities Management applied for and received a grant from UMD’s Strategic Initiative Grants Program. The grant provided opportunity for the departments to engage two School of Fine Arts students on the project. The grant program was established to help move UMD toward meeting one or more of the goals in its strategic plan.

CE’s Introduction to Construction Project Management program helps move UMD toward Goal 1, which includes “prepare students for lifelong learning, globally engaged citizenship, and success in their academic, personal and professional lives” and Goal 5, which states “it will help to strengthen ties with Duluth and surrounding communities in an intentionally visible and mutually beneficial partnership.”

For more information about UMD goals, visit UMD’s Strategic Plan website.

About UMD's Continuing Education
The UMD Continuing Education Department has a long and successful history of innovative continuing education programs and certificates developed in collaboration with an array of colleges and departments. It has also worked closely with subject matter experts from community businesses and industry to create several noncredit courses and certificates. 

Continuing Education offers valuable preparation for employment opportunities and career advancement, as well as serve a wide range of educational options for advancing lifelong learning.

Noncredit certificates include Studies in Gambling Addiction: Counseling the Pathological Gambler; Studies in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; Sustainable Food Systems; and Introduction to Construction Project Management.

Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, May 2013

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